The Financial Times, the respected business daily, endorsed Barack Obama on yesterday to become the next U.S. president, even though it prefers the trade policies of his Republican rival John McCain.
The newspaper, which has a daily readership of about 1.3 million worldwide according to its parent company Pearson, said the Democrat's policies blended the "good, not so good and downright bad" but he was "the right choice."
Just over a week before the November 4 election, Obama has been leading McCain by more than 10 points in some national and state polls.
The FT said the Democrat had run his campaign "superbly," and while not the same as governing, this was a "test of leadership." By contrast, McCain's campaign "has often looked a shambles," it said in an editorial.
Likewise Obama was as "fine a political orator as the country has heard in decades," but McCain was merely "adequate" in a skill used to inspire voters.
The paper praised Obama's main domestic proposal, comprehensive healthcare reform, judging McCain's plan "too timid."
The FT condemned the Democrat's policy on trade as "disappointing," saying he "pandered to protectionism" in the early stages and has not pulled back, while McCain had been "bravely and consistently pro-trade, much to his credit."
But it applauded Obama's handling of the financial crisis, saying he displayed a "calm and methodical disposition" while McCain had offered "hasty half-baked interventions."
On foreign policy, expected to be McCain's strong point, the Republican seemed "too much guided by an instinct for peremptory action," the FT added.